Poem of the Week: “From: To: ” by Robin Coste Lewis




At last, a dark murderous lunatic

to whom they are allowed to respond.

Here, no one expects them to be strung

up by their necks—dangled—and then left


to be cut down from a tall tree—and not cry.

No law—here—will require them to watch

their families hurled on top of the world’s bright pyre,

over generations—without complaint—


unattended by rage’s holiness

or the clear mirror of grief. They find some

chalk to celebrate. While one loads, one lifts,

then checks. Just before they ignite the bomb,


they write on its shell—FROM HARLEM, TO HITLER—

then stand back for the camera, smiling.


~ Robin Coste Lewis


From “Voyage of the Sable Venus and other poems,” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015)

harlem to hitler (1)

Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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